Is AirPort Express a router?

ohcrap

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Original poster
Aug 12, 2005
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I understand what it is used for and how it works (for the most part) but it is actually a router? Can I get into it's settings with a browser to set up port forwarding and static IP's, etc.?

I am looking to replace my Dell TrueMobile wireless router and I want to make sure that I have the right idea about the AirPort Express before I buy. :)
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
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Adelaide, Australia
Yes it's a router and yes you can do all normal router tasks with it but you don't use a browser, you use an app called AirPort Admin Utility instead. :)
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,589
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San Francisco, CA
I have an Airport Express, and I really like it because it's an Apple product, made for an Apple Computer, an therefore the software for it is built into the computer. They all work together really well, and easily.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
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Andover, MA
You might want to download the manual off of apple.com just to be sure it does all you want. It's not the most advanced router out there.... I have three and love them. But... they're only moderately sophisticated.
 

tsaxer

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Feb 24, 2004
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Tuscaloosa, AL
Just be perfectly clear, though, it is a wireless router, but only has 1 in 1 out for ethernet cable. If, like me, you have 3 computers in the house bound by ethernet and then some wireless machines, you'd need to go with either a regular 4 port combined with the AE, or just a combo router. You probably knew that, but others reading may not pick up on that.
 

jsw

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Mar 16, 2004
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tsaxer said:
Just be perfectly clear, though, it is a wireless router, but only has 1 in 1 out for ethernet cable.....
To clarify that even further: a grand total of one ethernet port.

Which was probably clear to all anyway....
 

ohcrap

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Original poster
Aug 12, 2005
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Thanks everyone, you've all been helpful. I really want one now! :D
 

kugino

macrumors 65816
Jul 10, 2003
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ohcrap said:
Thanks everyone, you've all been helpful. I really want one now! :D
then get one! :)

the best thing about the air express is its wireless music, IMO. the digital streaming is bit perfect (no loss of digital info from your lossless music files) and it can be a great source for your music setup...with a decent external DAC, it sounds as good as some mid-level CD players.
 

coreybox

macrumors member
Oct 28, 2005
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Just like to say that i use the express as my primary router, and it is a great router as long as you dont need more features than it has (more hardwired options). One complaint though is that the range does not seem to be as strong as other routers....not a problem for me, but if you have a large house/coverage area this might be a problem.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
tsaxer said:
Just be perfectly clear, though, it is a wireless router, but only has 1 in 1 out for ethernet cable. If, like me, you have 3 computers in the house bound by ethernet and then some wireless machines, you'd need to go with either a regular 4 port combined with the AE, or just a combo router. You probably knew that, but others reading may not pick up on that.
I've been wondering about this. I have a Netgear b/g wireless router with 4 ports for wired machines. Until now, I've had my PCs all plugged in via ethernet, even the old laptop, as it was never able to connect too comfortably in wireless mode. If I were to buy an Airport Extreme, would I then just be able to plug it into that router and use the AE as an extension/extra access point, so to speak, for my iMac and PB, both of which have wireless capability built in? And also plug in my printer to that printer port in the AE so that I can share it among computers?

OTB
 

superbovine

macrumors 68030
Nov 7, 2003
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it doesn't have MAC address cloning, and the windows configuration tool is quite clunky. I only say this because you have both mac and pc.
 

Helmut Kool

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Mar 8, 2003
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There doesn't seem to be a way to assign a static IP address to a specific computer (detected by its MAC address) when sharing addresses with DHCP.

I mean, you can forward for example connections to SSH port to 10.0.1.2 but you can't be sure that 10.0.1.2 will be the same computer all the time.
 

superbovine

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Nov 7, 2003
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Helmut Kool said:
There doesn't seem to be a way to assign a static IP address to a specific computer (detected by its MAC address) when sharing addresses with DHCP.

I mean, you can forward for example connections to SSH port to 10.0.1.2 but you can't be sure that 10.0.1.2 will be the same computer all the time.
that is why you assign the static ip on the client end. although, i think your point is that it doesn't have all the bells and whistle link the newer dlink or linksys routers do.
 

Helmut Kool

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Mar 8, 2003
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superbovine said:
that is why you assign the static ip on the client end. although, i think your point is that it doesn't have all the bells and whistle link the newer dlink or linksys routers do.
Is this really possible if you want to share a single IP address (from DSL box) to several Macs using the Airport Express? Could you give specific directions on how to do that, please.
 

Peace

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Apr 1, 2005
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Helmut Kool said:
Is this really possible if you want to share a single IP address (from DSL box) to several Macs using the Airport Express? Could you give specific directions on how to do that, please.

There should be easy to use directions using the airport setup assistant in the utilities folder..

Simply put.Use DHCP.
 

Eniregnat

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2003
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In your head.
I love my AirportExpress. I take it with me everywhere (between work and home.) When ever I travle for work, I know that I will have a wireless access port in my room, even if there isn't one. I have used it to streem audio for classes, and it's an ok print server- though I really don't think Apple's Rhapsody is all it is cracked up to be.
 

Helmut Kool

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Mar 8, 2003
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Peace said:
There should be easy to use directions using the airport setup assistant in the utilities folder..

Simply put.Use DHCP.
I'll rephrase my problem. How can I guarantee that computer A always gets the IP address 10.0.1.2? If Airport Express shares IP addresses with DHCP, I can't just tell in the client computer what IP address I would like to use. Or can I somehow?
 

ohcrap

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Original poster
Aug 12, 2005
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Can you password protect network access with it? Like whenever anyone wanted to connect to the network, they would have to enter in a password that I designate?
 

Eniregnat

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Jan 22, 2003
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In your head.
Helmut Kool said:
I'll rephrase my problem. How can I guarantee that computer A always gets the IP address 10.0.1.2? If Airport Express shares IP addresses with DHCP, I can't just tell in the client computer what IP address I would like to use. Or can I somehow?
I think it is Airport Admin Utility-->Configure->Network>Share a range> then set your bracket so that it is the only address you want.

Also Airport Admin Utility-->Configure->Airport>Bastation Options button, Ethernet Port Security, click Enable Default Host at, and set to 10.0....
 

wordmunger

macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
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North Carolina
ohcrap said:
Can you password protect network access with it? Like whenever anyone wanted to connect to the network, they would have to enter in a password that I designate?
Yes, no problem. You can also provide additional levels of security, such as the network itself being invisible to the general public, and MAC address limitations (so only specific computers are allowed to connect).
 

ohcrap

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Original poster
Aug 12, 2005
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wordmunger said:
Yes, no problem. You can also provide additional levels of security, such as the network itself being invisible to the general public, and MAC address limitations (so only specific computers are allowed to connect).
How would one access the network if it were set to be invisible to the general public? That seems like something I would use, how does it work?
 

Eniregnat

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Jan 22, 2003
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In your head.
ohcrap said:
Can you password protect network access with it? Like whenever anyone wanted to connect to the network, they would have to enter in a password that I designate?
Yes.

Before you set a good random password, I recommend using a program like RPG to generate true random passwords. For HEX, just restrict to the letters 0 to 9 + A to F. I would store the passwords somewhere safe, like an encrypted file or password tracking utility that is highly encrypted.

Airport Admin Utility -->Configure-> Change Password - to lock out other people from changeing the router remotely.

Airport Admin Utility -->Configure-> Change Wireless security - for packet encodeing options + password.

Use Access Control to limit access to particular computers, thoes with known MAC address. (Yes it can be spoofed- but, it isn't likely.)

Create a closed network will hide your network, and allow only thoes that know it's name to access it.

Here is what I do, I have 3 levels of protection, all saved as profiles that I switch between. I don't beleve in restricting access unless I have a reason too, i.e. I am doing a credit card trasaction, or if somebody is really sucking bandwidth.


LevelOne- No password, simple access- no administration, brodcasts name openly.
LevelTwo- Password, encryption, bordcasts name openly.
LevelThree- Password, max encryption, extreamly short DHCP leasing, minimal broadcast range, closed network, only authorized MAC addresses.

By the way, MAC address means Media Access Control. It has nothing to do with Apple's Macs.
 

Helmut Kool

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2003
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Eniregnat said:
I think it is Airport Admin Utility-->Configure->Network>Share a range> then set your bracket so that it is the only address you want.

Also Airport Admin Utility-->Configure->Airport>Bastation Options button, Ethernet Port Security, click Enable Default Host at, and set to 10.0....
But this doesn't work if I have several computers in the wireless network.

IP 10.0.1.2 is given to the first computer that joins the network even without that setting.
 

Eniregnat

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2003
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In your head.
Helmut Kool said:
But this doesn't work if I have several computers in the wireless network.

IP 10.0.1.2 is given to the first computer that joins the network even without that setting.

They all can't have the same IP address.

It's been ages since I have done this. Pardon me if it is wrong.

Under network, Share Range of IP address, set it as you wish. Or just shrink the pool size for the default 10.1- type addressing.